-Photo by Ryan Leopando / Arch City Sports
After dropping a pair of games to the Pacific Division Sharks and Kings, the Blues found the same result against division-foe Colorado.
It was ugly for the Blues from the start as both teams traded chances in the beginning of the first period before Nathan MacKinnon came away with the puck from behind the net and slid it to Matt Duchene. Duchene sent the puck to the point finding Erik Johnson as Johnson ripped a shot off the post past Jake Allen to make it 1-0 late in the first period. Johnson, a former member of St. Louis, has been red hot against the Blues as he has tallied three goals in the last two meetings between the teams.
The Avs would soon add to their lead with under two minutes left in the first period on the power play. Good puck movement on the man advantage led to Ryan O’Reilly sliding the puck across the goal mouth to Zach Redmond as he beat Allen for his fourth goal of the season. After the first period, the Blues trailed 2-0 after being outshot 14-7.
The Blues failed to regroup during the intermission as a lengthy time in their own end eventually led to the 37-year-old Jarome Iginla firing a shot on net as it bounced of the 35-year-old Alex Tanguay to extend the Avs lead to 3-0 with 14:11 remaining in the period.
Then once again on the power play, Colorado capitalized as the captain Gabriel Landeskog found O’Reilly by the goal line as he patiently waited for Kevin Shattenkirk to fall to the ice before putting it over the left shoulder of Allen for his 6th goal of the season. The goals came in bunches as just 40 seconds later, John Mitchell gave a drop pass back to Iginla who ripped a slap shot past the outstretched Allen to give the Avs a commanding 5-0 lead with 2:33 left in the second period.
Allen allowed 5 goals on 31 shots before Martin Brodeur entered the game to replace Allen. Brodeur recorded 10 saves in the third period and no goals allowed.
The third period for the Blues was an improvement as they outshot the Avs 12-10 including a couple good opportunities from David Backes and Vladamir Tarasenko, but the score would hold as the Blues fell 5-0 to Colorado. With the loss, St. Louis remains third in the Central Division at 21-10-3 and one point behind Nashville after the Predators suffered a 5-3 defeat at the hands of the Boston Bruins earlier in the night.
Alex Pietrangelo ended his seven-game point streak as he had one shot and was a -2 rating as the Blues were shut out for the fourth time this season.
St. Louis will have a four-day break before returning to action Saturday, December 27 against the Dallas Stars at home.